I attended my first Ghanaian church service today. We had a blast! Drums, singing, dancing, sweating…everyone gets involved.
They even call some of the kids up to lead everyone in a song now and then. “John Black” gave a terrific, thought-provoking sermon on making sure your life is Rooted in the Lord. He told the story of Peter wanting to walk on water with the Savior. He made it really interesting for the kids and I enjoyed it, too. One funny thing happened right in the middle of it all. Agbesi (Jason and Brandie’s darling boy) was sitting right in front of me and turned around and flashed me a great big smile. One of his front teeth was literally hanging by a thread and needed pulling. “John White” tried to pull it late last week, but it wouldn’t come out. So right there in the middle of church, I sent him back to where John was sitting and they snuck off outside. They were gone for a pretty long time and I wondered if they were out playing soccer or something and ditching church. After a few minutes, though, Agbesi came back in the room, flashing me another smile. Both front teeth are now missing and he has the cutest toothless grin you’ve ever seen! We wanted to play tooth fairy for him, but realized that would open a huge can of worms with 40-something little kids in the same house, all losing teeth.
My favorite memory of today happened when I saw Courage writing his name in the sand. He was sitting off by himself and just humming along. He finished and looked up at me like, “hey mommy, what do you think of that?” It was so cute, but I thought to myself, “I can add a little something to this to make it even better.” This is what we got.
He smiled big and hugged me around the waist. Luckily we got a picture of it. That’ll be displayed at home somewhere for sure!
One of the things I’ve been worried about is my cooking (of all things) when they get home. I want them to be happy in our home so bad, but I know how different things are going to be for them. I know what a hard time I am having over here (culture, food, smells, “transportation,” etc.), and I am just visiting for a time. I can’t even imagine what it will be like for them to come and live in a place so unlike their homeland in almost every way. One of those big differences that have been nagging at me is the food. Delight is not a huge fan of pizza. That is a staple in our home. Yikes!
But tonight as John and I were walking back to the hotel in the dark, quiet night, we started making a list of everything we’ve seen over here that resembles what he or I can make at home. Grandma Zina’s spaghetti, for instance, is surprisingly similar to the spaghetti they eat here (except they put egg in it instead of ground beef and call it “macaroni”). So I can make that. Plus, my kids LOVE it, too. Also on the list are fried rice and a chicken leg. If all else fails, I can go to Hong Kong (my favorite Chinese food restaurant in Nampa) and get them a fried rice/mandarin chicken special. [Oh, why am I writing on this blog right now about all the food I can make at home? This is self-inflicted TORTURE!]
Okay, I sum up. (Princess Bride, anyone?) I know Heavenly Father is giving me little tidbits line upon line, and with each comes a reassurance that, “Yes, Jenny, you can do this! Don’t forget all of the confirming experiences you’ve had leading up to what you are doing today.” Come to think of it, “John Black’s” sermon today on being Rooted in the Lord is very timely and appropriate for how I am feeling right now. He taught us that if we need anything from the Lord, to ask Him with faith, believe He will answer and then listen for His will. I think I’ll hand the computer off to “John White” now and go and do just that. If you don’t have anything too pressing going on right now, say a little prayer for me to get this all figured out, too. With love and buckets of gratitude to absolutely EVERY ONE OF YOU… Jenny
Ok, it’s me, John White!!!
I kinda like that name. It was a nice day, today.
I wrote the other day about how I wanted Delight and Courage to communicate with us in ways other than saying, “Yes”, “No”, and “I feel fine”. With each and every day that passes, they are opening up more and more. At dinner tonight, I was going over the menu with Delight and I suggested about five different entrees, and each time delight would say to me, “No Daddy, I don’t think that sounds good to me.” I actually looked up at Emily Marshall and said, “I think I liked it better when all she said was, “Yes”! Emily smiled and Delight gave me a confused look like, “Hey old man, I am finally telling you my feelings and you make jokes!” I told her I was just kidding, and asked her to order what she would like. We were at a very nice restaurant and she said, “Chicken and fried rice!” Half of the meals these kids have eaten since we have been here have been Fried Chicken and fried rice. When it came it was a very well-seasoned baked chicken. It was wonderful and she was happy.
Courage had the same. Jenny and I split a sausage pizza, but they didn’t tell us it was made with Vienna Sausages. It was like a Hot Dog pizza. We were so hungry we ate the whole thing. (Ok, Jenny ate one piece, and all my crust, and I finished off the whole rest of the pizza. ) I was starving, to say the least. Man I can’t wait to go home and BBQ one of those great Elk steaks I cut up a couple days before we left.
(The following picture is our friends Emily, and Job. They shared the same type of pizza we did.)
I am having a hard time writing how I feel each and every time we do something because I feel like I am sounding redundant. I have enjoyed each day with these two kids, as well as the other forty-some kids they live with. I’m learning that each one of these kids have their own special, little personality. Some are crazy and in your face, while others are very reserved and love to sneak up and give you loves. I really enjoyed in the beginning when each of them would say, “I love you Daddy” (in their sweet little Ghanaian accent). I have now discovered that anyone who is nice to them, or shows them love gets to be branded with the honored name of Mommy or Daddy. So I want to prep you that if you are nice to my kids when they get home, don’t be surprised if you get that term, “Daddy” or “Mommy” thrown out at you. Well it is late and we have another great day planned with the kids. We will be going to the Accra Mall tomorrow. I guess it is like an American Mall and very similar shops and food courts. Jenny and I are both looking forward to eating something normal. The best thing about tomorrow is that it will only be one day till court. Our new court date is Tuesday at 11:00am. (4:00am your time.)
It will be a great moment when we come out of that court room. I hope everything goes well, I don’t think Delight would be able to handle having to change the time again. We will keep our fingers crossed.